Bonnie Bucqueroux teaches at Michigan State University's School of Journalism and experiments with citizen journalism, including co-publishing Lansing Online News with Bill Castanier. They also co-host a radio show Mondays at 7 p.m. on LCC Radio - WLNZ - 89.7.

13 responses to “Michigan wants small heritage pig producers gone by April 1 and Mark’s fighting back”

  1. Amy Krycinski

    Did they ever think that those chefs might prefer pork from small farms because their pork actually TASTES BETTER? Big Daddy government, stop taking away our choices!

  2. pig farmer

    There are dozens of us small heritage pig farmers in Michigan and only one of ‘us’ seems to be in the crosshairs of the DNR??? The Mangalitsa like nearly every pig is listed as Sus scrofa domesticus … Durocs, Hampshire, Yorkshire, etc… etc….. (ref – ). From following this story the little bit of information that is concerning, is that Baker stated that he crossbred his herd with a ‘wild boar’. Perhaps this is what the DNR is looking at ???

  3. pig farmer

    Listen … I’ve got no axe to grind, etc … So a big ‘YES’ that the ruling is vague, but so is every ruling / law / etc… it’s all on enforcement and intent. Mark seems to be not only protecting his farm, but speaking up for the game preserves …??? Why?

    We farm – we don’t let anyone ‘kill’ anything on our property – our ‘herd’ is purebreed. We do care for every farmer who is striving to provide an alternative to the ‘food machine’, but we also care that the line between invasive breeds and heritage breeds are maintained. So if Mark crossed that line, there is a problem that needs to be resolved. Does it mean that DNR comes in and kills he herd … NO! But something will need to be done.

  4. Jill

    A couple of thoughts:
    1) Per wikipedia’s “domestic pig” listing (, all pigs are descended from wild boars and are technically classified as sus scrofa domestica. They can interbreed and create fertile offspring which means, per highschool biology, that they are the same species.
    2) “Feral” by definition means “outside the fence.” We have mangalitsa hogs along with our crosses and neither lives outside the fence or has any desire to. Purebreed or halfbreed doesn’t change where the animal lives and neither is “wilder” to handle than the other. To say one is invasive and feral while his befellow is native and domestic defies logic.
    3) The DNR has a stated target on the hunting preserves. That is a different market than yours and ours. However, the MPPA has helped craft this ruling. WHY?? Most “feral” pig sightings/kills are in the southern part of the state. Most hunting preserves are in the northern lower peninsula and UP. Who’s in the southern part of the state with pigs? Your purebreed pigs and the MPPA hog barns. Hmmm…..
    4) Once the DNR has eliminated hunting farms and still has a feral hog problem, whose door will they knock on next? Your Mangalitsa meets 6/8 of their criteria, not counting the ninth vague “characteristcs not yet known to the DNR” criteria. The problem is not our hogs, it’s people who break the nuisance animal laws and those who don’t enforce the laws on the books.
    5) The hunting industry has been under the gun for a long time and has been trying to resolve these issues amicably and legistlatively for some time. We found out about it when an Ag Commissioner briefed the chefs we work with on the issue. Why the chefs first? To date, farmers have not been formally informed at all, even though we are included by description. Whether you let individuals harvest your animals for their own use or take your animals to a slaughterhouse and let someone kill them for you is a matter of degree. Rodney Stokes, DNR head, has put in writing that the purpose for which you raise your animals doesn’t matter.
    Thanks for your concerns.

  5. maus

    Industry protectionism, but not as they’re portraying. Reminds me of Florida’s destroying of all the natural citrus population to “protect” citrus-growers’ interests.

  6. mary

    Well written article. I hope that this issue gets more support for farmers like Mark. The small organic farmer and heritage pigs are a deep part of our heritage. Factory farming is an unsustainable practice that will only hurt us far more in the end.

  7. Brandon

    This is a disgustingly transparent catering to big business. Either there are some greased palms in this case from the big ag piggy farmers, or these so called politicians forgot where their rights end and the people’s begin. I’m so tired of money making decisions for the people. Until profit and greasy palms are no longer the motivation of the people and it’s representatives, we will always be fighting against this kind of ignorant tyranny. The entire state of Michigan should decend upon these institutions demanding the law be stricken from the record. Why is it we cannot solve problems with actual solutions rather than laws? As if a law just automatically fixes things… Until you address the source of the problem, and create a solution that is positive for all, you will never have a free and just society. It’s like trying to say we are going to war to create peace. Every war in history was started with a lie, it’s time we wake up to reality and create changes and solutions that do not require some idiot telling everyone what to do. Build solutions into the fabric of society, not more red tape…

  8. Ashley

    So, what can we do? I tried to call, and no one picked up. I tried to email Rodney Stokes, and the email has been changed. Are there any organized protests? This is a loss not only agriculturally, but gastronomically as well. We must stop this.

  9. Rose

    I’m wondering the same thing as Ashley–what action can we take? Though I’m in Calif., this is yet another precedent that can affect us all, and I’ll throw my voice behind opposition to this slaughter.

  10. Dr William B. Mount,Retired Ambassador

    The State of Michigan is continuing with the killing of Small Pig Farmers.

    Do not give up on the story.

    The US is a corporation (22usc286, 5USC 101-105) and as such falls under the UCC.

    It is a violation of the UCC to take such actions.

    Your economy will dry up if you loose this battle, so says the I AM That I AM.

  11. Tracy DeCann

    I am horrifed by this – the most endangered species status need to include the small farm operator…SAVE OUR FARMERS!!! TD

  12. ..Baker Pig Farm – Bundy Cattle Ranch “Government Out Of Control” | Right Michigan

    […] On one side of this fight stands the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Michigan Pork Producers Association (MPPA). On the other side are roughly 2,000 small farmers like Mark Baker of Green Acres Farm in Marion.… […]

Leave a Reply